Looks like they dug deep to try to nail him — witness the string of PDFs in the sidebar — but it’s pretty thin. He bought land with zinc in the soil from his father in 1973 subject to a 30-year lease with the mining company which, allegedly, gave him “no legal recourse” to cancel. He ended up raking in north of $500K in royalties; meanwhile, the company was cited a few times in the late 1990s for dumping toxic substances in the local waterways at levels sufficient to violate the Clean Water Act but was let off without a fine because they promptly addressed the problem. The mine went out of business in 2003 but now it’s coming back, forcing the Goracle to choose between walking away and forfeiting that sweet, pollutive lucre or re-upping and devising some sort of moronic zinc-mine offset scheme. He’s already circulated a letter demanding that the mine submit to policing by an environmental group, which brings us to our quote of the day:

To use an example of the risk posed by mining operations, Green Media Toolshed issues a Scorecard based on the national Toxics Release Inventory. The Scorecard shows that pollution releases from the mine in 2002 placed it among the “Dirtiest/Worst Facilities” in the U.S.

The EPA didn’t start tracking pollution releases from mines until 1998, so god only knows what they were pumping out over the previous 25 years.

Like Glenn says, this looks worse than it probably is. As far as I know, Gore isn’t such a deep shade of green that he opposes industrial development root and branch for fear of what it will do to our polar bear brothers. On the contrary: he’s content to have countries not named “America” belching carbon into the atmosphere by the assload. For him, as for almost all leftists, the problem (and solution) begins at home — just so long as it’s not his home. That’s the real source of righty irritation here, plus the fact that he’s such an abrasive, hectoring tool that we can’t resist tormenting him. Until we’ve got him riding bicycles to his fundraisers and churning his own butter, he shall be dubbed Hypocrite with a capital H. And it shall be sweet.

Update: Thanks to Ed Driscoll for tipping me to the latest PSA from 18 Doughty Street. Like I say: sweet.

Update: It’s come to this.

They are exploring global warming solutions that sound wholly far-fetched, including giant artificial “trees” that would filter carbon dioxide out of the air, a bizarre “solar shade” created by a trillion flying saucers that lower Earth’s temperature, and a scheme that mimics a volcano by spewing light-reflecting sulfates high in the sky.

These are costly projects of last resort — in case Earth’s citizens don’t cut back fast enough on greenhouse gas emissions and the worst of the climate predictions appear not too far away. Unfortunately, the solutions could cause problems of their own — beyond their exorbitant costs — including making the arid Middle East even drier and polluting the air enough to increase respiratory illnesses.